Oath of Lieges

Oath of Lieges

Enchantment

At the beginning of each player's upkeep, if that player controls fewer lands than any of his or her opponents, the player may search his or her library for a basic land card and put that card into play. The player then shuffles his or her library.

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Set Rarity
Exodus (EXO) Rare

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Legality

Format Legality
Tiny Leaders Legal
Noble Legal
Magic Duels Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Vintage Legal
Highlander Legal
2019-10-04 Legal
Leviathan Legal
Legacy Legal
1v1 Commander Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Oathbreaker Legal
Unformat Legal
Casual Legal
Commander / EDH Legal

Oath of Lieges occurrence in decks from the last year

Commander / EDH:

All decks: 0.0%

Oath of Lieges Discussion

Tzefick on How would you give white ...

6 days ago

TL;DR: The pre-text is LONG. Sorry about that, but there's a lot to unfold about the subject. If you just want to skip down to the suggestions I brainstormed, go below the first set of 3 lines.

It is no secret that the Commander community for a long time has regarded white as one of the weaker colors in Commander, especially as a monocolor. Many have pointed their fingers at how well the color achieves mana ramp and card draw/advantage.

White actually do have a small slew of card advantage and ramp cards or cards that in essence cheats the requirement for mana.

White has raw card draw in Mentor of the Meek and Dawn of Hope, although hidden behind a requirement in form of a trigger. Both are triggers that are fairly easy to achieve but not without costs. Not to forget Sram, Senior Edificer (and Puresteel Paladin) - but again behind a trigger requiring a very specific type of deck building. White has additional card advantage through regaining access to cards once lost, like through a Sun Titan getting back small permanents, or Nomad Mythmaker, Order of Whiteclay, or Bishop of Rebirth.

White has ramp in form of Knight of the White Orchid and Kor Cartographer and pseudo card advantage in good ol' Land Tax. The knight has a requirement that you need to be behind to actually ramp, and that aspect goes again in many of white's attempts to imitate ramp and card draw. White can only catch up, they cannot get ahead. These aspects are most recently seen through Verge Rangers (pseudo card advantage - not ramp, you don't get access to more lands than 1 per turn) and through Cartographer's Hawk. There's also Oath of Lieges but that is a symmetrical effect and may as well just benefit some of your opponents as much as it does you.

White can cheat the requirement for mana in a few instances, like casting Resurrection on a higher costing creature, an aspect they share with black and often a favorite when the two are paired. Where they differ is that black usually does it for less mana at another resource expense, and that black has different means to get those creatures out into your graveyard to set it all up. White has none of these opportunities/advantages.

This thread mainly aims to discuss white getting card draw/advantage in the Commander format and how they would achieve it to fit their color identity, but we can talk about the Commander format in general as well. To clarify, the topic is aimed at discussing how white could get card draw/advantage and not really whether or not they should - do feel free to voice your opinion for or against but please keep it limited and instead focus on how card draw could fit into white's color identity. It doesn't necessarily have to be from a place within the current color identity, but could be exploring new design space that hasn't been seen before.


Let's examine how other colors achieve card advantage:

Blue is super easy and the main color that achieves it, they usually do it straight as an investment for the specific purpose of gaining more resources; Concentrate. Blue also has access to looting options where they draw cards and discard cards (or the other way around); Merfolk Looter / Tolarian Winds. Blue also has the largest collection of cards with Flashback, so even once Blue uses a resource from their hand, they can do it again from their graveyard; Deep Analysis - although these cards are usually more costly than their non-flashback peers.

Black is also relatively easy as they imitate blue's investment but at an additional cost; Night's Whisper. As previously stated black can also access their graveyard like white and reuse mainly creatures that have died or otherwise put into the graveyard (from say an Entomb) by using Animate Dead or Zombify. Black's ability even goes beyond their own graveyard and dip into their opponent's graveyard. Black also have some aspect of self-discarding, usually as a symmetrical effect that aims at harming their opponents while still being able to access the cards they lost themselves; like Cunning Lethemancer.

Red is relatively new on this block, as they have for a long while had many of the same issues as white. Red did however have cards that looted (drawing and discarding cards) in the concept of picking up the strongest of a larger selection of cards - this is also called card filtering as you don't get an advantage in resources, only the selection. However red also has a selection of cards with flashback or activated or triggered abilities from the graveyard. With the introduction of impulse draw - so named from Act on Impulse, where red exiles a number of cards from the top of their library for the ability to play those for a limited time. Thus red has achieved temporary card draw.

Green is one of the richest colors in the color pie at the moment, having access to a lot of control cards, protective measures, card advantage, ramp and swingy plays. It is no wonder to me how green is one of the stronger colors in Commander. Green has access to some very strong card advantage cards that fits right into the slow format of Commander. Rishkar's Expertise is a favorite as it combines the Commander format's slow pace, green's affinity for big creatures, and a powerful swing in resources, all in one card. Another is the ability to draw from creatures being cast or entering the battlefield. Outside the slow Commander format, you don't really see these types of cards, but within the format they are strong and valuable. Green also has access to the most flexible way to reuse cards from the graveyard through Eternal Witness, Greenwarden of Murasa, Road of Return - road and Myth Unbound are even commander specific benefits that makes casting your commander cheaper, within the color with the most access to mana acceleration. So the color that needs it the least has ways to reduce their mana demand on casting their commander. I would argue this aspect should have been placed within white and/or blue more than in green. Black is getting in on it with Netherborn Altar, so in the future we might see the other colors circumventing the commander tax in some fashion.

White has very few card draw cards (the best of which are mentioned above) and all are locked behind some kind of condition that is not insignificant, compared to something like Beast Whisperer.


It would seem white lacks behind quite a bit in this aspect. When a color cannot do something itself or not very well, they usually seek toward artifacts to fix their issues. Here you can utilize Mind's Eye or Loreseeker's Stone or Arcane Encyclopedia or Book of Rass or Endless Atlas or Skullclamp or Tome of Legends to name a handful of the better variants. What most of these have in common is that they are expense to cast or maintain or require some specific deck building choices to function.

If the general consensus of Commander players are to be taken into account along with the perceived strength of each color, it would seem these artifacts are not enough to help white overcome its lack of card draw. Furthermore white's other strengths doesn't seem to have enough impact to offset this lack.

The general argument I have seen against providing white with card advantage is; it breaks the color pie, white can utilize artifacts to fix their weaknesses to some extend, white's strengths comes from mass land destruction, taxing (Thalia, Guardian of Thraben) and hatebears (Aven Mindcensor). Again I don't really want this thread to be overshadowed about arguing for/against White getting card draw into their color identity, let's just assume white eventually will get card draw - how would that look like?

Brief discussion on the counter arguments Show

I really like the way WotC incorporated card draw into red, as impulse draw feels red but it is card draw and it helps red smooth out some edges it may have in especially multiplayer formats, such as Commander.

So, if we assume white is eventually going to get card draw, how would it look like? Here's a couple of ideas for concepts on how to incorporate a card draw mechanic with white flavor.




Taxing

Good ol' taxing. We already have Smothering Tithe, so something similar to Rhystic Study could be a possibility. It could be an aura you put on a land, so whenever it is tapped that opponent pays mana or grants you card draw. It doesn't necessarily have to be mana that is taxed, it could also just be the action/trigger itself that is the tax.

A taxing example Show



Warring / "spoils of war"

White is the most militarized color that deals in organized military strategy, being the main color for the creature types Soldier and Knight. White is often associated with combat and attacking as well. Perhaps it should be used to its advantage and provide some means to acquire card draw - figure it a substitute for roleplay wise gaining lands / trade routes / power / intelligence.

Example of war "spoils" Show



Trading

I actually really like the idea of this one, although it may be harder to properly accomplish.

White has before had trades happening like Armistice and Bargain. There's also the advocates and Benevolent Offering but they are not unique to white and is a set mechanic. It's been a while since this was part of white's color pie, but it could be again.

Example on trading Show

The flavor is there, as white is a color of community and peace, so trading seems like a natural byproduct. I really like the political aspect from this mechanic when considering multiplayer formats.



Divination

An alternative to direct card draw; you choose a card type (instant, sorcery, creature, land, artifact, enchantment, planeswalker) and then look at top X cards of your library, you may reveal a card of the chosen type and put it into hand, put the rest on the bottom of your library in any order.

This reflects the Commune with Nature (which is a green card I know) but it seems to fit white's color pie as the more religious color, to ask the gods/divine/faith for a boon and maybe it is answered, maybe not. Obviously you can deck tech to increase your chances but the idea is a card draw that is not guaranteed. Under the right circumstances it can be stronger than a card draw as it may filter.

Example on Divination Show



Honor the ancestors

I really wanted to create some kind of mechanic that allowed white to dump cards into their graveyard, to synergize with white's inherent ability to generate card advantage through recurring permanents, especially low CMC permanents. As it stands white needs to cast those smaller permanents and have them put into the graveyard from the battlefield - thus making these recurring effects a lot more narrow than their black and even green brethren, who can more easily set up these beneficial plays. But it doesn't seem very much like a white thing to self-mill, ala Surveil, nor do they discard. For white to have this particular synergy you would have to make them gain it without much prior precedent.

One thing that seemed sort of within the flavor of white would be to honor the ancestors, remember the history, keep to the traditions. I think you could work that flavor into some kind of mechanic that could work to white's advantage.

Examples on Honoring the Ancestors Show




Anyway, that's just what I brainstormed for. Like I said before I really liked the flavor on red's card draw and I want white to get something similar. Do you like any of my suggestions or think you can refine them? How would you give white card draw that is flavorful?

Gleeock on Why White? Design Choices

2 months ago

I guess to summarize: for all its well known staxy Stony Silence elements to try to hold back the top-dog at the table also has its' lesser-known Oath of Lieges abilities to bring more desperate players to parity in a global way & allow for more competition with whatever table archenemy is ahead of the game. It feels like if could use some more advantage or just plain creativity this would be a valid avenue (in a way to do so).

dingusdingo on How to design white card ...

5 months ago

The most effective card draw pieces happen with a trigger. You see this with cards like Runic Armasaur , Sylvan Library Rhystic Study and Dark Confidant , all powerful cards that see competitive play. We can divide most triggers into periodically (every upkeep/draw step/whatever) or upon event (When you play a type of spell, etc.).

Should you have to invest mana past the initial to draw cards? Any extra mana investment beyond the initial for the permanent significantly lowers the power level. Consider a card like Dawn of Hope . I was excited to brew when I initially saw, but paying for a draw eats up one resource to replenish another (in this case, mana for cards). White isn't particularly known for having explosive mana available, or ramping mana either. I think this option is definitely the weakest route, and the most likely to see printed.

Compare to competitive EDH powerhouse and annoying trigger generator Rhystic Study or Mystic Remora . Instead of costing you, it generates advantage by forcing opponents to spend resources or fall behind in a different type of resource.

If mono white does ever receive a face lift treatment for card draw, I see it being a non-periodical trigger that serves to equalize advantage or negate advantage. What do I mean? Imagine Rhystic Study except it fires off an opponent drawing a card. The opponent either gives you resource parity (they draw a card, you draw a card) or must spend resources ( mana to stop you from drawing a card) to negate the parity. It is also easy for me to imagine an offshoot creature of Runic Armasaur for white that fires off of different triggers. Opponent casts an artifact or enchantment? Draw a card. You have elements similar to a card like Balance without giving white a spell they can recur continuously to blast past their opponent.

Imagine Sandstone Oracle effect as a mono white sorcery. It would function similar to how people have abused the card Windfall throughout MTG history, with the exception that only the mono white player is doing the drawing. Any kind of recursion, fast mana, 0 cost permanents, and cheap utility permanents are going to make the card a headache. Consider its application outside of the mono white context. A Red White storm deck could use it with cards like Fork to draw far more cards than intended if you have mana available to dump instant speed cards between the two refill your hand spells. I think this effect printed at a playable cost (anything around ) would cause more problems than it solves.

How about gaining effective card advantage, say a card like Stitcher's Supplier ? I also imagine this to be a future out for white draw, especially when combined with anything that brings multiple permanents back from the GY. I consider the highly underrated Return to the Ranks to be an example of this. The problem is, flavoring cards going to the GY to suit the white color pie. I'm imagining a card similar to Oath of Lieges but counting cards in GY before milling yourself. Another route would be a permanent that triggers self mill upon life gain, a wholly white effect (and possibly holy too).

Pervavita on Mono-white Wincons

5 months ago

there is other ramp in White that does work well outside of Mana Rocks.

Tithe and Oath of Lieges (errata changes Target opponent to any opponent) are two less known White ramp cards giving White 5 Ramp cards outside of artifacts. It's still not enough ramp but it is all good ramp and Oath and Land Tax should play into what your doing more as a mono colored deck. -Yes I know Tithe and Land Tax aren't actually Ramp but they do insure you don't miss land drops and do dip into card draw as more a hybrid of the two.

As to Win Conditions, Storm Herd though high on CMC could be one.

Ravenrose on Sephara's Hoofed Army

8 months ago

I feel Sigil of the Empty Throne could be pretty decent in this deck. Oath of Lieges may also be a fun addition, if you ever wish to put a group hug element into this deck. I feel that more hoofed creatures should be added, so maybe consider Loyal Unicorn . Ethereal Armor could be of use to you. Hyena Umbra , Eland Umbra and Umbra Mystic are fun additions if you ever decide to go towards a Voltron strategy.

I hope these have helped!

Raven Rose

Ravenrose on Krav and Regna - Ebony and Ivory

11 months ago

Increasing Devotion is really fun in this deck. Liliana, Dreadhorde General gives me Krav fodder. Living Death is good recursion. Another fun card would be Oath of Lieges . If you want fast tokens and some fun stuff - Parhelion II . I think Reya Dawnbringer could be good in this deck. I do like this a lot - it is not my style but this is clearly well thought out.

If you want to see how I built them, check out my Forbidden Love deck.

Raven Rose

Tyongo on Kitchen Table Politics

11 months ago

Thanks! I was not aware that deathtouch interactions work like that. That definitely adds some interesting removal options. I'm a big fan of Lightning Volley , that sounds awesome.

And more political cards are always welcome. If I understand correctly, you could even deny others the effect of Oath of Lieges by targetting the players themselves, right? That's even better.

Thanks for the suggestions!

Cloudchaser.Kestrel on Kitchen Table Politics

1 year ago

fun deck! A couple things come to mind.

Deathtouch is not limited to combat damage. An Arcbond , Lavamancer's Skill Power of Fire or Lightning Volley can help your assassins assassinate a lot more hapless victims

I like that humble defector is in here Soldevi Sentry and Wall of Shards are other great political pieces (although wall of shards has shot up in the past couple weeks with all the new snow decks going around, might want to wait to get one) Oath of Lieges is probably my favorite political card. Nobody wants to kill you.

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